Pit bull legislation caged in rules committee

Dog lovers shouldn't look to the General Assembly to give them a bone, as legislation overturning court ruling that designated pit bulls as dangerous animals was locked in the House rules committee this morning.

Leaders from the House and Senate have repeatedly said the session will only focus on cleaning up a budget mess left when the legislature adjourned without approving a last minute deal on the state's spending plan. Undeterred, House members introduced four bills to nullify the court ruling.

The pro-pit bull legislation came in from Democrats and Republicans alike. The list include the Maryland Dog Nondiscrimination Act, a bill by Del. Herb McMillan (R- AA County.) Other bills were sponsored by Del. Jon Cardin (D-Baltimore County); Del. Michael Smigiel (R-Eastern Shore) and Del. Ben Kramer (D-Montgomery County.)

"Having these bills out there brings us one step closer to finding the right approach," said Tami Santelli, MD senior state director of Humane Society who was in Annapolis Monday.

Refusing to be muzzled, pet owners also plan a rally in Annapolis Tuesday afternoon. (They've been told the furry friends must stay home.)

Santelli acknowledges that its unlikely to cause lawmakers to add the issue to the agenda this week. But, she hopes that if a second special session is called this summer to deal with gambling, the pit bull issue on the agenda too.

Ah, the dog days of summer are ahead.

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